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Srna: Olimpik show character in every match

Wednesday, March 15, 2017



Before the start of an open training session, Shakhtar captain answered the questions from reporters

- Darijo, Shakhtar vs Olimpik is ahead. Do you see it as a derby?
- Of course that’s a derby, which, unfortunately, has never been held in Donetsk. We have great respect for our opponents, the president of that club and the coach. I attended a coaching course together with Roman Sanzhar. He carried out a huge volume of work at Olimpik. I'm glad that this team have made it to the knockout stages. I’ve been rooting for the guys and will do it in the future, so that they continue in the same vein and get into the Europa League. But you know that there are no friends on the pitch. In the first half of the season, we already had a very tough encounter with them, with us losing points and the game finishing 1-1. Therefore, on Friday, I also expect a difficult match and some great performance.

- Olimpik is a kind of Ukrainian Leicester. The players have the lowest salaries, with their contracts from six months to a year, with no infrastructure available, with the club still sitting in the 4th-5th spots ...
- This should be an example for everyone else. Olimpik show character and good football in every match. All this begins from the club president and the coach. Therefore, as I’ve just said, I really respect the team.

- There will be the Croatia vs Ukraine game soon. What are your expectations from the upcoming meeting?
- After three games in Croatia and the ban by UEFA there will finally be a full stadium. Everyone understands that for the national team it’s a very important match, as well as for Ukrainians by the way. I know just one thing: the Croats will play to win from the very first minute – at home we always display some attacking football. Therefore, I want the Croatia national team to win and make it to the World Cup together with Ukraine. That’s my wish.

- Currently, Ukraine’s defensive third is mainly represented by Shakhtar defenders, with Taras Stepanenko and Viktor Kovalenko appearing in midfield. They will be counteracted by Rakitic and Modric. Have you discussed this with the teammates?
- Yes, we have. For me, the group favourites, and it's no secret, are Croatia national team. But will still root for the Ukrainian team, for them to make it to the World Cup. Your national team will find it hard, because the Croats have been performing very well at home. But we should respect our opponents. Several years ago we already met, and drew twice. Croatia respectfully treat Ukraine, the coaching staff and the players. So we’ll see how everything goes.

- Are you going to fly to the match?
- Yes, I will be present at the game.

- How has Croatia changed with Ante Cacic at the helm?
- The team turn in good performance. At the European Championships, the Croats didn’t have enough luck to get to the semi-finals or even win the tournament. And luck in football is crucial. Unfortunately, we didn’t have it in France.

- Could you name the most promising Croatia players?
- Pjaca, Kovacic, Brozovic. You know that Croatia is a country where excellent football players, handball players and basketball players are always born. We are a football country, we will always have good players.

- And how do you find Ukraine national team under Andriy Shevchenko? What changes have you noticed?
- They are some. After all, every coach depends on the result. I really like and respect Shevchenko, I wish him only good results. After Croatia I will be rooting for Ukraine national team.

- Will you be attending the Croatia vs Ukraine game as a spectator or an expert on television?
- I don’t want to be an expert. I will be rooting for Croatia, for good football.